One of the best parts of going on holiday is planning: picking a fun destination, looking at hotel websites, checking out the local attractions online… But sometimes the travel terms can get a little confusing, so we found this excellent glossary words used here and abroad from the United States Tour Operators Association (www.USTOA.com) to help you navigate the net. Of course, if you get stuck, there’s nothing like contacting a travel agent to help you find your way!
Single Room: A room with one bed for one person.
Twin Room: A room with two beds for two people.
Double Room: A room for two persons with a double bed.
Triple Room: A room for three persons, usually consisting of twin beds (or double bed) plus a rollaway cot.
Service Charges and Taxes: Service charges are a fixed percentage automatically added to room and meal charges. Taxes are set by the city, state or federal government.
Ocean Front: A room directly facing the ocean.
Ocean View: A room from which it is possible to secure a view of the ocean (usually located on the side of the hotel).
Connecting Flight: A segment of an ongoing trip which requires a change of aircraft, but not necessarily a change of airline.
Direct Flight: A flight on which passengers do not have to change planes, but may involve one or more stops en route.
Non-stop Flight: Service between two points with no scheduled stop en route.
Add-on Fare: The cost of air travel from a domestic city to another domestic city from which the tour/vacation package originates and vice versa.
Baggage Allowance: The weight or volume of baggage that may be carried by a passenger without additional charge.
Drop-off Charge: Fee charged by a car rental company to defray the cost of returning the vehicle to its original location.
Value Added Tax (VAT): Tax imposed by governmental authority.
Force Majeure: An event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled (such as storms or war).
Passport: An official government document certifying identity and citizenship and granting permission to travel abroad.
Visa: An official authorization appended to a passport permitting travel to and within a particular country.
Vouchers: Documents issued by tour operators to be exchanged for accommodations, sightseeing, and other services.
Continental Breakfast: Usually consists of bread, rolls, butter, jam and tea or coffee.
AP (American Plan): Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
MAP (Modified American Plan): Includes breakfast and dinner.
Full Board (Full Pension): Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Half Board (Demi-Pension): Includes breakfast, and either lunch or dinner.
Table d’hôte: Published restaurant or hotel dining room menu, usually consisting of an appetizer, two or three choices of main course and dessert. After-meal tea or coffee and other beverages are not usually included.
A la Carte: Unrestricted selection from the menu.
All-Inclusive: Includes all meals and beverages, usually the minibar as well. Some premium exclusions could apply.
Tour Escort/Director/Manager: Professional engaged to oversee the technical details of the tour operation and to accompany the group from one place to another.
Local Host: Generally a representative of the tour operator who provides assistance, information and optional sightseeing and entertainment arrangements in a particular city.
Local Guide: Professional engaged to point out places of interest and conduct tours of specific locations and attractions.
Driver-Guide: Professional engaged to drive a vehicle and to point out places of interest.
Transfers: Arrival and departure service consisting of providing transport between the airport, city air terminal, rail station, or pier and hotel.
Porterage: Baggage handling service.
All-Inclusive Price: Includes land arrangements and round-trip airfare and/or other transportation.
Land Price: The cost for the land arrangements only.
Single Room Supplement: Difference in price between half of a twin room and the actual price of a single room.
High-Season Supplement: Additional charge imposed during the busiest time of the year.
Double Occupancy Rate: The price per person based on two persons sharing a room.
Double Room Rate: The price per room shared by two persons.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: Purchased separately from either the tour operator or your travel agent, this provides a refund if you have to cancel your trip after completing payment. Refunds often vary according to the time frame in which you cancel.
Travel Insurance: Purchased from a private company or the tour operator, this provides coverage for emergencies abroad such as illness, baggage loss, accidental death/dismemberment. This policy often includes trip cancellation insurance.
Tour Protection (Consumer Protection Plan): A program designed to reimburse travelers if the tour operator goes bankrupt or becomes insolvent. A tour operator’s participation in these types of plans is voluntary and can involve posting bonds, using escrow accounts or other types of financial security.